3 states that may legalize marijuana this year

When talking about the fastest-growing industries in North America, marijuana is often near or at the top of the list.

According to recently released data from cannabis research firm ArcView, in partnership with BDS Analytics, the legal weed industry in North America is projected to grow by a whopping 28% per year through 2021.

If accurate, the legal pot industry could be generating nearly $25 billion in sales by 2021.

It's an industry where favorability has shifted dramatically over a relatively short period of time, too.

In 1995, national pollster Gallup found that only a quarter of its survey respondents favored the idea of legalizing marijuana.


Police dismiss charges against Tennessee stores raided for selling CBD products

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation initially said these products were illegally derived from marijuana, but later admitted that their tests could not support this claim.

Tennessee law enforcement have dismissed all charges against local stores accused of selling CBD edibles that were allegedly "laced with marijuana." Last month, a task force of local, state, and federal law enforcement launched "Operation Candy Crush," raiding 23 stores in Rutherford County and seizing CBD edibles.


Legislation would create legal defense for medical marijuana users possessing limited quantities

A pair of Nashville Democrats are sponsoring a bill that would create a legal defense for people caught with limited amounts of marijuana, provided it is for medical purposes.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Yarbro and Rep. Harold Love, would allow those suffering from a host of medical conditions, including cancer and glaucoma, to possess no more than one ounce of marijuana.

Yarbro said the measure is necessary because the legislature has failed to craft rules for medical marijuana on a statewide basis. 

"At the very least, people who are using marijuana to treat chronic illness and make their lives possible shouldn't live under the constant threat of being arrested," he said recently. 


Legislators in Tennessee and Nebraska advance proposals to legalize Medical Marijuana this year

Scientific evidence confirming the medicinal properties of cannabis is getting harder and harder to ignore, and even conservative, Republican-dominated states are beginning to show support for medical marijuana.

This week, Republican legislators in Tennessee proposed a bill to legalize oil-based medical marijuana, and on the very same day a Nebraska state senator proposed a ballot measure to let the state vote on allowing medical cannabis.


Republicans introduce bill to expand medical marijuana in Tennessee

The number of Americans who are in favor of legalizing marijuana continues to increase. A new Pew Research Survey says 6 out of 10 Americans now support the measure. Buzz60

Rep. Jeremy Faison and Sen. Steve Dickerson have introduced a bill that would allow a limited version of medical cannabis in Tennessee.(Photo: File/ USA TODAY)

Two Republicans introduced a bill Thursday that would make Tennessee the latest state to allow medical marijuana. 

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, and Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, would only allow oil-based manufactured products, such as pills or lotions, and would not permit the sale of raw cannabis, also known as marijuana, as is common in other states.  


Tennessee medical marijuana: Why one lawmaker is switching sides

80% of Tennesseans think marijuana, in some form, should be legal. That’s according to a May 2017 poll by Vanderbilt University.

Will 2018 be the year lawmakers approve medical cannabis? FOX13 discovered the winds of change are blowing on Capitol Hill. 

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell talked to FOX13 in her Belle Meade home recently. She says she didn’t “think it was a wise move” to legalize any form of marijuana last year.

The Republican now says she’s “open” to change. 

Harwell told us, “This is a plant that God has given us…as opposed to a synthetic drug.”

To say this is a change of heart is an understatement. We asked her what changed her mind. Harwell says, “It’s personal now."


Tennessee: medical marijuana task force holds 1st meeting

The Joint Committee on Medical Cannabis met for the first time Thursday to discuss what options the legislature has to legalize medical marijuana in the next session.

A panel made up of state representatives and senators listened to testimony from law enforcement, Tennessee Department of Health staff, various doctors, and experts. The committee was requested by House Speaker Beth Harwell, among other lawmakers, like state representative Jeremy Faison.

"I feel like it's the same arguments that we've heard historically. I feel like the deeper we get into this over the next couple of months, the arguments have no foundation," said Faison. "When it comes just to the strict use of the medical grade cannabis, it's a great benefit all the way around for the state."


Faison to head medical marijuana legalization panel in Tennessee

State Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-11th, of Cosby, has been tapped to co-chair a legislative task force to consider the issue of legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee.

Faison was appointed, along with State Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, to head up the Joint Ad Hoc Committee on Medical Cannabis for the Tennessee General Assembly by Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, R-Nashville.


Lawmaker expects medical marijuana to be 'Top 5' issue for gubernatorial candidates in Tennessee

Tennessee’s gubernatorial election is still over a year away, but with a newly appointed committee on medical marijuana, Representative Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, expects cannabis to play a large role in the election.

“Obviously we see jobs and infrastructure as probably going to be number one, and abortion and gun rights are way up there when it comes to Republican values,” Faison said. “I do see a lot of sick people making this issue a top five issue for candidates.”

Faison is co-chair of a medical marijuana committee that will hold three public workshops across the state so lawmakers can study potential impacts of legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee.


Tennessee gubernatorial candidate looks to legalize medical marijuana

It's a hot topic in the state: whether or not to legalize medical marijuana. Beth Harwell, the Tennessee Speaker of the House and a Republican candidate for governor, said she supports legalizing medical marijuana.

Local 8 News Anchor Lauren Davis went to Nashville to talk to her about what made her change her mind.

Beth Harwell has a sister who lives in Colorado and injured her back doing yoga.

"She was prescribed opioids," said Harwell. "She would need to be on them for 12 weeks. She was in a body brace. She really realized after a couple weeks of action she would be addicted if she didn't take an alternative course of action."


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